Spring is in the air! Many of us look forward to the arrival of spring, whether it’s the warmer weather, blossoming flowers and trees or starting fresh with spring cleaning. However, with the arrival of spring, airborne allergen levels are sky high. When allergies are soaring, the first place many of us check is our medicine cabinets to fend off the many symptoms of allergy season. Often times, our medicine cabinets are littered with expired or unnecessary goods, causing those itchy, scratchy throats to linger on longer than they should.
This year as you’re making your spring cleaning to-do list, be sure to include a medicine cabinet makeover. Between all the beauty products, toiletries, first aid kits and over-the-counter drugs, it can be a challenge to decide what is absolutely essential to keep in the medicine cabinet – especially with the expired bottles of cough syrup and half-empty prescription bottles. Keep your medicine cabinets organized and stocked with essential items for allergy season including Chloraseptic spray and lozenges that offer fast acting relief from sore throat and mouth pain.
I have a spring cleaning list I am updating all the time. This year I made sure that cleaning out my medicine cabinet made the list! It is so easy to forget about all of the old medicines in your cabinet! I hate to say, but many of mine were way TOO old!! When you clean yours out, make sure to have a large kitchen garbage can handy and just start tossing! If the medicine is old don’t even hesitate to throw it out-it is just not safe or effective for your family anymore! Once your can is full or you are finished take the garbage out right away, especially if you have small children around, you don’t want little hands getting a hold of medicine! This also makes a great time to stock up with some new items so you have them on hand when you need it. My first new items were my Chloraspetic Sprays for a sore throat! These not only relieve sore throats for colds but also for allergy time! You will feel so accomplished after looking at your new medicine cabinet and you will feel better knowing your not accidently taking old medicine. This is a great thing to do the start of every new season or at least when your time changes twice a year.
To help you prepare for the upcoming allergy season and how to treat symptoms associated with allergies, I interviewed Dr. Daniel Hussar M.D., Remington Professor of Pharmacy at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy! He gave some wonderful tips to help us with those pesky allergens!
1. With airborne allergens soaring during the spring time, how should we prepare ourselves for allergy season?
There are many ways you can prepare yourself for allergy season. My number one recommendation is to reduce your exposure to allergens to the extent possible. Secondly, make sure you have allergy medications handy before allergy season starts. Also, some have found that taking a shower after coming in from outdoors can help reduce allergen triggers in the home.
2. What are the most common causes of allergies?
The most common allergies are to pollen, grass, dust mites, mold, and weeds. Some are most prominent on a seasonal basis, whereas others are present year-round.
3. What are the most common symptoms of allergies?
The most common symptoms associated with allergies are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, itchy nose and throat, and coughing.
4. How should we treat symptoms associated with allergies?
First speak with a pharmacist or physician about possible options and the safety of using any medication. Take all medications according to instructions whether they are available over-the-counter or prescribed. You should also follow tips on how to keep your house or car clean, and use the AC instead of having the windows open.
5. What are some effective treatments to relieve pain caused by a sore throat?
A sore throat can often be relieved by medications such as benzocaine and phenol that are the active ingredients in products like Chloraseptic lozenges and sprays. These products provide fast relief of sore throat symptoms because the lozenges dissolve in the mouth and the sprays are administered directly in the throat. These products are also very safe to use because the medications are provided to the specific areas where the symptoms are occurring, and very little of the medication reaches other areas.
6. How can I treat a sore throat and cough at the same time without having to take multiple medicines?
Some medicines may provide relief for more than one symptom. For example, an agent such as benzocaine that is used in some sore throat lozenges and sprays may relieve irritation and pain, and also suppress cough.
7. What are some good things to keep in the medicine cabinet this allergy season?
Products like Chloraseptic throat spray and lozenges are important to keep handy in addition to an antihistamine such as loratadine (e.g., Claritin) for allergy symptoms such as runny nose and an analgesic such as acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) for headache and fever relief.
8. I’m going to be talking about our medicine cabinets? How important is it to make sure our cold/allergy medicine is up to date? Is it really harmful to use expired medicine?
To ensure your medicine is delivering maximum potency, it is always best to use it before the expiration date on the container. Although most medicines will not cause harm if used after their expiration date, aspirin that is past the expiration date may cause problems and should not be used. If the appearance or texture of any product has changed, it should not be used.